Water has always been a central theme in my life (beyond the fact that it is about 60% of my body). I was born just off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, where I spent the majority of my months as a toddler. Even before my birth, photos depicted my parents residing in a cloth tent on the sandy beaches.
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Before I stepped foot in a classroom, I lived in a beach shack on Tybee Island, Georgia, where I spent my childhood hours amidst the sand and the surf, venturing into the coastal Atlantic waters free of worries and life jackets. Instinct and wonder were my instructors long before a YMCA swim class.
From these beach adventures at the age of 4, until the age of 19, I did not stray from my marine biologist career path. If I could not spend my life perpetually swimming alongside orcas, dolphins, and the numerous other sea creatures that occupy the oceans’ depths, then I would study them.
Even when, at the age of 9, fate would transport me to the landlocked Midwest, I still found myself in a river town intensely connected to the water. Marietta sits nestled where the Muskingum joins the Ohio on its long journey to join the mighty Mississippi, eventually flowing back into the Gulf of Mexico, perhaps poetically circling back to the city of my birth.
Even now, my move deeper into the Midwest, and away from a career in marine biology, still places me just off the Great Lake of Michigan. Its thus fitting that one of my earlier pieces depicts that vital connection to water. Based on a photograph I took of one of the many vessels docked on the Muskingum, this piece is still one of my best ventures into representational work.
Featuring my loose attachment to form and precision, inspired by the impressionists, and incorporating my undefined almost whimsical facture that has remained an important aspect of both my abstract and concrete works, this painting serves as a substantial step in my development as an artist.
It was displayed in the aptly named Riverside Art Gallery shortly after its completion during my senior year of high school, and remains in my personal collection